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Nov 28, 2020 - 7:00:13 AM

fraiha

USA

13 posts since 6/16/2004

Hi folks

I started taking lessons a little while ago in order to learn to play by ear. Basically, my teacher would play a song on video, and for a week I'd slow it down over and over again until I could pick out the notes, it helped my playing A LOT. I used an app called Anytune that was recommended here for this but there was a lot about it I found annoying, especially since it didn't support video.

I wanted a better tool to help keep my annotations and videos organized so I'm in the process of building one and wanted to show everyone here to see if this is something other people would use. It's pretty effective but I don't know if I should continue putting time and effort into it.

SO here is a screenshot of it. The idea is that you can select and name parts of the video and then loop each part again and again and it's really easy to switch between different songs (e.g. I have 4 variations of Salt Creek I found on YouTube that are grouped together) and annotations. Let me know what you think and if would be interested in using something like this...

Below is a screenshot, or in case that doesn't work: https://imgur.com/a/OQlTsNw.

Thanks
Adrian


 

Edited by - fraiha on 11/28/2020 07:11:40

Nov 28, 2020 - 10:38:07 AM

RB3

USA

889 posts since 4/12/2004

If the intent is to promote "learning to play by ear", why should there be any need to see anything?

Nov 28, 2020 - 12:01:12 PM
like this

13612 posts since 10/30/2008

If you're not familiar with the "Murphy Method" instructional DVDs, Murphy is all about learning by ear instead of tab. Of course DVDs also show the fingers.

Nov 28, 2020 - 2:44:09 PM

maxmax

Sweden

1464 posts since 8/1/2005

quote:
Originally posted by The Old Timer

If you're not familiar with the "Murphy Method" instructional DVDs, Murphy is all about learning by ear instead of tab. Of course DVDs also show the fingers.


I have a couple Murphy Method DVDs and like them and learned what's on them, but I would not call it learning by ear. All that's on them is "put your left middle finger on the second fret of the third string and pluck with your right thumb, then put your..." 

It's really more like having tab read out loud to a specific arrangement of a song, than any kind of instruction of how to play by ear. Not bad DVDs if you just want so learn a few songs though.

Fraiha... sounds like a neat program that I'm sure many people would find useful. I use the Amazing Slow Downer frequently which is a life saver. Not sure I personally would use your program for videos though. The very few times I've wanted to learn something from YouTube, simply just slowing it down right there with their slowdown tool has been good enough for me. If all I was doing was trying to learn stuff from YouTube it might be worth getting a dedicated program just for that, but again I don't do that too often.

Good luck though! 

Nov 28, 2020 - 3:06:43 PM

fraiha

USA

13 posts since 6/16/2004

Hi everyone, thank you for the replies!

Why do I need a video to learn by ear?
hah it's a good point. You can use it with just audio also but for video, I use it more as a crutch. Sometimes I just can't find the right note and having a little hint gets things moving. Other times I find I picked out the right note on the wrong string. In one instance I found myself doing a single string roll where my teacher was doing a melodic roll.

Maxmax -- is there anything that you find frustrating with the Amazing Slow Downer? Or parts of it that are better than the alternatives? I used to use it years ago but haven't since I found Anytune. But as I mentioned, there is a lot I find frustrating with Anytune.

Thanks everyone
Adrian

Nov 29, 2020 - 6:18:10 AM

550 posts since 10/9/2017

I like the ability to create a menu of loops within a single video that is accessible with a click/tap. I have a lot of videos of banjo or fiddle tunes from my teacher that I view in QuickTime, and this looks like it would be a real step up in functionality. I have Looper, but almost never use it.

Does it have an imbedded function to download directly from YouTube?

Nov 29, 2020 - 8:06:19 AM

2417 posts since 2/10/2013

I think learning to play by "ear" requires a lot of playing, experimentation, and making mistakes. Knowing basic music theory, things like the chromatic scale, basic scale and chord theory enables a person to more easily identify what is needed. Doing some scale exercises which familiarize you with the fingerboard helps a lot. It "teaches" your ear where the different notes are on the fingerboard. A lot of the music we play are scale fragments.

Experiment. If you know a simple one measure lick in the first 4 or 5 fret positions on the fingerboard, figure out how to play that lick higher up the neck. Starting out using single string picking technique would be easier than "Scruggs" style.

Playing by "ear" doesn't mean you have to completely ignore written material. Did you learn math by "ear" ? Nothing wrong with using tabs or musical notation, but just keep learning things by "ear" as well. As a persons knowledge of musical principles and their playing abilities improve, they are able to play by "ear" more easily.

Alfred publishing has an instructional series by Ned Luberecki. It is designed to teach you how to play and understand what you are doing. The contents will help any player, regardless of how they plan to play - by "ear", by "tab", or whatever. If I were teaching someone to play banjo, I would include this book in my program.

If you plan to restrict your learning to play to completely avoiding visually obtained information, you have a long road ahead of you.

Nov 29, 2020 - 12:01:44 PM

fraiha

USA

13 posts since 6/16/2004

I'm glad to hear that Remsleep -- I pretty much do the same thing at the moment and it's what prompted me to build this. If I'm able to publish this website, if you don't mind, I'll be sure to message you in case you'd like to try it out.

Richard -- I agree with you. I would like to support transcribing from video/audio at some point, but that's really secondary to how I use this program. Learning the banjo by slowing down the music and playing along has helped me A LOT in my retention of songs, my ear, and my rhythm. This website is just to help with that, but I don't expect it to be the only tool/method a player uses.

Thanks!
Adrian

Nov 30, 2020 - 12:26:12 AM

maxmax

Sweden

1464 posts since 8/1/2005

quote:
Originally posted by fraiha

Maxmax -- is there anything that you find frustrating with the Amazing Slow Downer? Or parts of it that are better than the alternatives? I used to use it years ago but haven't since I found Anytune. But as I mentioned, there is a lot I find frustrating with Anytune.

Thanks everyone
Adrian


I'm sure The Amazing Slow Downer has functions that I don't use. I really only use the slow down function and on rare occasions use the change pitch tool which works well, so no I don't find anything frustrating, but I'm really the wrong person to ask as I've never dived into the settings or tried to do anything fancy with it.

I have the mobile version on my iPhone and the big thing for me is that it works very well with Spotify. I can either creat a playlist on Spotify or usually I just push the like button, and in Amazing Slow Downer I automatically see all my Spotify playlists including liked songs. So if I'm working on something I don't even need my computer, I can just get my phone out and in a matter of seconds I can slow down any song from Spotify.

Nov 30, 2020 - 4:54:36 AM

phb

Germany

2362 posts since 11/8/2010

I use "Transcribe!" as a slow-downer. It can slow down videos as well as audio files, is also available for Mac and there is a free trial period, so perhaps you want to have a look at it.

The one thing I find missing about "Transcribe!" is that I would like to put together "playlists" for a practice session. E.g. in Transcribe! I can select a banjo break and set it to 60% of the recorded speed, repeat ten times, then step up by 5%, repeat again, up to say 90% of the recorded speed. Very nice and useful. But then I need to make some mouse clicks to practice the 2nd banjo break in the recording and a whole lot more mouse clicks to practice another tune. If I had a "playlist" that has entries like "1st banjo break of Little Maggie, tuned down four half tones, step up from 60% to 80% by 5% with ten repetitions per step", "intro of Old Home Place, tuned down...", I could just practice for hours without having to make any mouse clicks at all.

Nov 30, 2020 - 9:11:16 AM
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fraiha

USA

13 posts since 6/16/2004

quote:
I'm sure The Amazing Slow Downer has functions that I don't use. I really only use the slow down function and on rare occasions use the change pitch tool which works well, so no I don't find anything frustrating, but I'm really the wrong person to ask as I've never dived into the settings or tried to do anything fancy with it.

I have the mobile version on my iPhone and the big thing for me is that it works very well with Spotify. I can either creat a playlist on Spotify or usually I just push the like button, and in Amazing Slow Downer I automatically see all my Spotify playlists including liked songs. So if I'm working on something I don't even need my computer, I can just get my phone out and in a matter of seconds I can slow down any song from Spotify.

 

I never thought to use music from Spotify. Usually, I just look up the song on YouTube and use that. To be able to use Spotify directly is a great idea. My website works on any device with a browser. And it automatically saves your place which is something I really needed. So if you use your phone and you've highlighted the third annotation and are on 0.6x speed, you can access that on your laptop without having to do anything additional.

quote:
Originally posted by phb

I use "Transcribe!" as a slow-downer. It can slow down videos as well as audio files, is also available for Mac and there is a free trial period, so perhaps you want to have a look at it.

The one thing I find missing about "Transcribe!" is that I would like to put together "playlists" for a practice session. E.g. in Transcribe! I can select a banjo break and set it to 60% of the recorded speed, repeat ten times, then step up by 5%, repeat again, up to say 90% of the recorded speed. Very nice and useful. But then I need to make some mouse clicks to practice the 2nd banjo break in the recording and a whole lot more mouse clicks to practice another tune. If I had a "playlist" that has entries like "1st banjo break of Little Maggie, tuned down four half tones, step up from 60% to 80% by 5% with ten repetitions per step", "intro of Old Home Place, tuned down...", I could just practice for hours without having to make any mouse clicks at all.

I haven't heard of Transcribe!, I'll check it out. I agree with your practice playlist sentiment and that's part of why I built this. e.g. You can group videos together and access them easily with your previous practice session settings already there for that specific video. Reducing set-up time in order to practice is really the goal. The repeat "10x and step-up by 5%" is a great idea and something I'll eventually work on.

Nov 30, 2020 - 2:27:20 PM
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73805 posts since 5/9/2007

I learned by ear at home from listening to and watching my Dad.
The video is important for learning by ear.It shows you when to change chords along with hearing the change.
Watching someone play takes the mystery out of it.

Dec 3, 2020 - 2:04:06 PM

2382 posts since 4/5/2006

To most of us old guys, "learning by ear" meant just that. The best way I know of to learn by ear is sit across from a good bluegrass guitar player, close youe eyes, and play along with him/her. You'll not only learn to hear, but to anticipate, the chord changes.
fwiw: there is a program called Video Grabber that's supposed to be pretty good, allowing you to capture a video, & play it back at a slower speed, yada, yada, just like Amazing Slow Downer, Transkribe, os anything else.  

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